College Football Playoff

Georgia, Alabama Lead First 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings

The SEC led the way in the first College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2021 season

Here are the first 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The first 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings were released on Tuesday night and two SEC powerhouses are among the top four teams.

The Georgia Bulldogs (8-0) were selected as the No. 1 team in the rankings. Georgia has been a dominant team and boasts an elite defense that hasn't given up more than 13 points in any game so far this season.

The Bulldogs clinched a spot in the SEC Championship Game with their 34-7 rout of Florida on Saturday. While questions at quarterback still remain after Stetson Bennett had a rough day against the Gators, it's hard to see anyone beating the Bulldogs this year unless their defense lets up.

Alabama (7-1) is slotted at No. 2, the highest initial CFP ranking ever for a non-unbeaten team. Despite an upset loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 9, many still expect the Crimson Tide to reach the CFP title game.

Michigan State (8-0) is ranked at No. 3. The Spartans secured their biggest win of the season this past weekend, coming back to beat Michigan behind Kenneth Walker III's five-touchdown day. The Spartans have fared well this season, staying undefeated in the Big Ten and gaining a quality win against a highly ranked team in Michigan. Michigan State ends the season with games against No. 6 Ohio State and No. 22 Penn State. An undefeated season would put them firmly among the top teams in the College Football Playoff race.

Oregon (7-1) takes the fourth and final spot in the initial CFP rankings. Despite losing to Stanford, the Ducks have arguably the best quality win in the nation, upsetting No. 6 Ohio State on Sept. 11.

Ohio State is the first team on the outside looking in at No. 5. The Buckeyes have won all of their conferences games in the Big Ten and their lone loss came to Oregon. The Buckeyes are coming off a win over No. 22 Penn State and still have matchups with Michigan State and Michigan left on their schedule.

The Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0) are right behind the Buckeyes at No. 6, the best ever CFP ranking for a Group of Five team. The Bearcats, who beat Notre Dame on Oct. 2, have the second-easiest strength of schedule among top 25 teams.

One of the biggest surprises of the night was Oklahoma (9-0) taking the No. 8 spot in the rankings. The Sooners made a change at quarterback from Spencer Rattler to freshman sensation Caleb Williams that has worked quite well. However, Oklahoma's wins have not been as impressive, with only a slightly harder schedule than Cincinnati.

Here's a full look at the initial College Football Playoff rankings:

1. Georgia (8-0)
2. Alabama (7-1)
3. Michigan State (8-0)
4. Oregon (7-1)
5. Ohio State (7-1)
6. Cincinnati (8-0)
7. Michigan (7-1)
8. Oklahoma (9-0)
9. Wake Forest (8-0)
10. Notre Dame (7-1)
11. Oklahoma State (7-1)
12. Baylor (7-1)
13. Auburn (6-2)
14. Texas A&M (6-2)
15. BYU (7-2)
16. Ole Miss (6-2)
17. Mississippi State (5-3)
18. Kentucky (6-2)
19. NC State (6-2)
20. Minnesota (6-2)
21. Wisconsin (5-3)
22. Iowa (6-2)
23. Fresno State (7-2)
24. San Diego State (7-1)
25. Pittsburgh (6-2)


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